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Recently, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, urged policymakers to develop a national cybersecurity strategy at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW). Sen. Warner asked lawmakers to reexamine software liability terms and use federal purchasing power to drive minimum security standards for Internet of Things devices in formulating such a strategy.
Sen. Warner made these remarks during a panel entitled, “A New Battlefield: Defining a Cyber Strategy in the 21st Century.” Public Knowledge commends Sen. Warner for championing the need for a national cybersecurity approach.
The following can be attributed to Megan Stifel, Cybersecurity Policy Director at Public Knowledge:
“Senator Warner’s remarks at SXSW highlight the pressing need for a more holistic approach to cybersecurity. From election security to the gross manipulation of social media and burgeoning distributed denial of service attacks, this ongoing failure to address known weaknesses in information and communications technologies has brought us close to a breaking point in terms of our ability to trust in the use of these technologies.
“Senator Warner’s calls to have a fulsome debate about software liability and deploying federal procurement are important elements of an overdue conversation about how we can collectively overcome the growing challenges created by short-sighted approaches to cybersecurity. Although liability limitations contributed in part to the great success of many U.S. companies, their current scope is not sustainable if we want to continue enjoying the many benefits of the digital economy.
“As policymakers evaluate tools to meet the security needs of the new economy, we urge them to consider alternative options that incentivize companies to enhance security in their products and services. Cybersecurity must be a feature and not an afterthought. By the same measure, we must recognize these business decisions also create norms, and we are encouraged by efforts such as the Charter of Trust in developing products for a more sustainable internet ecosystem.”